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Hindraf supporters arrested for representing unlawful society

Updated on 24 Oct 2008 at 12.00pm

PETALING JAYA, 23 Oct 2008: Eleven Hindraf supporters, including a six-year-old girl, were arrested when they tried to hand over a Deepavali invitation to the prime minister today.

Kuala Lumpur chief police officer Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Sabtu Osman confirmed that the supporters were arrested under Section 48 of the Societies Act for representing an unlawful society.

“We are still conducting the investigation, so we are not sure if they will be detained overnight,” he said in a phone interview.

On 15 Oct 2008, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar declared Hindraf an illegal organisation even though it isn’t even registered with the Registrar of Societies.

K Shanti, wife of Hindraf leader P Waythamoorthy, told The Nut Graph that she and her six-year-old daughter, W Vwaishhnnavi, were among the supporters arrested.

She said all they wanted to do was to hand over a letter to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to invite him to their house for Deepavali.

“My daughter also wrote in the letter that she would wait for the prime minister with a cake and flowers.

“She also asked the prime minister to release RPK (blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin), her uncle (P Uthyakumar) and the other Hindraf leaders, and all the Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees as a Deepavali gift for all Malaysians,” she said in a phone interview while being detained at the Putrajaya police station.

(updated) Press reports said the group also had a copy of the letter from the United Kingdom Border Agency regarding the cancellation of P Waythamoorthy’s passport, as well as a memorandum calling for the release of ISA detainees including five Hindraf leaders.

Shanti said they were brought to the Putrajaya police station at about 3.15pm, shortly after they arrived at the prime minister’s office.

“A man came from the office and asked me if I was there to protest. I said no, and I explained that we only wanted to submit a letter.

“He told us to wait and he went back into the office. Suddenly, a group of police came and arrested all of us,” she said.

When contacted, a source from the prime minister’s department said they were not aware of the arrest. The prime minister is in Beijing attending the Asia-Europe Meeting summit.

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